New Caledonia

UN delegation arrives in New Caledonia

The territory is due to hold a referendum on independence from France next year amid continued efforts to draw up an electoral roll accepted by all sides.

The UN team will again witness the special French-led commissions, which update the roll that is restricted to long-term residents.

The eligibility of thousands of people had been questioned after they initially failed to prove that they will be allowed to vote.

The vetting process has been marked by claims of the indigenous Kanaks that they would be allowed to cast votes without enrolling.

Dengue claims another life in New Caledonia

A 30-year-old woman died of the mosquito-borne disease about a week after a 25-year-old woman in the Noumea area died of dengue type 1.

The authorities have said in both cases they were not at special risk.

A public health emergency is in place as about 700 people have been infected.

60 have been taken to hospital.

The authorities say all neighbourhoods of the city are now affected and more personnel are being hired to try to eliminate breeding areas for mosquitos

Vietnamese fishermen deported from New Caledonia

The territory's daily newspaper says nine officers accompanied the men on scheduled flights to Vietnam, with the French state paying their fares.

The fishermen were caught along with the crew of two other blue boats in the north of the territory.

The captains of the three vessels were jailed for illegally fishing in New Caledonia's waters but two vessels fled from Noumea.

Because of a break-down of the only naval vessel, the French Navy failed to pursue the two boats.

Last week, another blue boat was intercepted and its crew taken to Noumea.


Vietnamese captain to be tried in New Caledonia

Reports from New Caledonia say the man was presented to a judge and remanded in custody.

His vessel was intercepted by the French military last week near the Chesterfield Islands which lies about 500 kilometers off the main island.

The navy vessel took the 17 crew on board and sailed them to Noumea.

Last month, the captains of three Vietnamese blue boats were jailed for illegal fishing.

Their crew however escaped on two boats from Noumea.


Photo: AFP A Vietnamese "blue boat". 

New Caledonia's dengue triggers emergency

The authorities say all neighbourhoods of the city are now affected and more personnel is being hired to try to eliminate breeding areas for mosquitos.

A 25-year-old woman died last week of dengue type 1 - the first fatality since an epidemic was declared in early January.

Residents are advised to try to destroy breeding grounds in poorly accessible areas, such as gutters.


Photo: 123RF

PNG hopes to bounce back at Championships

The OFC championship is being hosted in Tahiti from February 11-24 with eight countries participating.

Our boys are pooled in Group A alongside New Caledonia, Tahiti and Vanuatu while Group B consists of Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

PNG is currently third on the points ladder after round one behind New Caledonia on first place and Tahiti on second. 

In their first match on Saturday, PNG went down to New Caledonia 3-2 while Tahiti defeated Vanuatu 1-0.

Dengue claims life in New Caledonia

RNZ reports a 25-year-old woman in the Noumea area died of dengue type 1 and authorities said she was not considered to be at special risk.

They said she had not travelled in the three weeks before her death.

Hundreds of people have been infected this year and an epidemic was declared in the first week of January as about 20 people a day were being infected with the mosquito-borne disease.

Another two dozen patients have contracted dengue type 2 which was brought into the territory through Vanuatu.


New Caledonia still searching for Vietnamese poachers

The captains of the vessels were jailed last week for illegally fishing in New Caledonia's waters but their crews fled from Noumea despite the authorities disabling their navigation gear.

According to the public broadcaster, a naval commander of the French navy has been told by Australia that the two vessels have not entered its zone.

The commander said the vessels may have headed north towards Papua New Guinea or Vietnam.

French Pacific minors face new travel restrictions

The measure is reportedly aimed at curbing travel to recruitment areas of Middle Eastern extremists.

Minors now need a completed form as well as a photo copy of one of their parents' identity cards.

According to media reports, this means that minors travelling between France and French Polynesia and New Caledonia need the authorisation even if they only transit via Los Angeles or Tokyo.

Photo: AFP Air Calin planes at Tontouta Airport in New Caledonia 

New Caledonia sets up energy agency

The territory aims to produce its electricity without fossil fuels by 2030 with the exception of the nickel smelters which remain key consumers running their own power plants.

The new agency will take over from the current energy control committee and also assume its budget.

A member from the Loyalty Islands says the number of households still to be hooked up to the power grid has remained unchanged for a decade but the government says many of them now have electricity from autonomous set-ups.


Photo: AFP Vale's nickel plant in New Caledonia